New Telegraph

JUST IN: Buhari rejects claims of lopsided military appointments

…asks them to treat bandits in ‘the language they understand’

President Muhammadu Buhari says those he appointed into offices in his administration earned them.
The president said this during an interview with Arise TV broadcast on Thursday.
Buhari said he will not pick somebody to fill a particular position “just to balance up”, while neglecting those who had passed through the training and ranks.
“They trained in Zaria or Abeokuta, they come through the ranks and because they served under all the circumstances, the crises and everything and they gradually rise to the status,” he said.
“And you think, you will just pick somebody just to balance up. These positions have to be earned. There are people who have been there for 10 to 15 years.”
In recent times, critics of the president have accused him of appointing those from the northern part of the country into strategic positions.
They said the president is negating the principles of federal character, especially in the appointment of service chiefs.
Buhari also said he has given the military and the police the order to “be ruthless” against bandits terrorising the north-west region of the country.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages. Like I said , we are going to treat them in the language they understand. We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.”
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public. If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble. We are already in enough trouble. So we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference.”
The statement ”treat them in the language they understand” became controversial after the president tweeted referencing the civil war.
The president had warned insurrectionists against destroying the country. But the tweet was removed by Twitter. The federal government responded afterwards by suspending the microblogging platform.
Bandits have scaled up attacks on states in the north-west and in the north-central, kidnapping and killing citizens.
Over 130 students of an Islamiyya in Niger State are still held by bandits.

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